The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw something that baffled me. It was a prolife post that caused some controversy. One of the prochoice arguments made my head spin:
“Ok but please look up how many new children enter the foster system or homeless shelters daily then think to yourself how much better they’d be if their parents made a better choice.”
Unborn children aside for a moment, it hurts my heart that anyone would think for even a moment that a person, a human being who has already been born, would be better off if they never took their first breath. No living (born or unborn) person deserves to have their life talked about as if it is worthless.
Do you know how many great people have come out of foster homes? Steve Jobs, John Lennon, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean are all product of the foster care system. Can you imagine a world without these people? If Steve Jobs’ mom had aborted him, there would be no Apple products – that’s right, say goodbye to your precious iPhone, iPod, and Mac. The music world would be decades behind its time and the name Beatles would mean nothing to us today had John Lennon never been born. What state would African-American rights be in today without Malcolm X? Marilyn Monroe and James Dean are iconic names who have influenced so many things in today’s society. These are only a few people who the foster care system saved. Who knows, maybe the cure to cancer is hidden in the mind of a child in foster care. So many great things and great people come out of bad situations, and just because foster care isn’t the best home for a child doesn’t mean they would be better off dead.
So yes, there are a lot of children in foster care at the moment (397,122 children in the US alone), but, no matter how hard their lives may be, they have something precious that they wouldn’t have if they’d been aborted: a life. What I am suggesting to everyone is that while the poor conditions of some foster homes is an issue, maybe the solution is putting more of our tax dollars into improving the foster care system instead of funding abortion.
God didn’t just want half of me. He was getting my attention and saying, “If you want to live for me it’s got to be all or nothing – no in between.” – Anthony Muhs.
This past summer, I went to a Lifeteen camp. One of our speakers was Anthony Muhs – he said many eye opening things, but this one really… well, blew my mind. It was as if he was talking about me. I was in that in between, and am still kind of there – granted, I’m working on it now. But it wasn’t until I heard Anthony put what I was feeling into words that I actually tried to make this change. I found myself constantly claiming to be a person of faith, and I did (do) believe, but I was messing up – constantly, and on purpose.
I learned that there’s a difference between saying you’re a good and faithful person and actually trying to be a good and faithful person.
It is so easy to fall into temptation, it’s in our human nature. God granted us free will, so, naturally, we find ourselves in the face of temptation. It’s how we handle this that makes us who we are. Until recently, I so easily, without a second thought – until after this eye opening moment – would give in to temptation. I find myself actually considering my options, weighing the pros and cons, before falling into temptation now. So I am working on the “in between-ness” in my life. And that’s the point I am trying to get across. In order to get out of that in between state, all you have to do is honestly give it your best effort – and know that when you do fall into temptation’s path you are forgiven.
This year’s theme was ‘Inspire[d]’ – we go to camp to get inspired, and we leave camp to inspire. I hope that someday my story will inspire someone the way Anthony’s inspired me.
It’s really easy to forget what this holiday we’re so busily preparing for is truly about. We get so caught up in figuring out the perfect gifts for our loved ones, decorating the house with beautiful lights and silly trees, and hoping for the gifts we want that what we’re actually celebrating slips our mind.
Christmas isn’t about mistletoe and holly, big green trees sitting inside homes, shiny presents, stockings filled with goodies… it’s not even about a big ‘ole jolly man making his way down our chimney in the dead of night. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. This tiny, little baby that would someday save us from our sins. This tiny, little baby that loved you so wholly before He even knew how to walk and before you were even born.
Take a moment this year to give thanks to that tiny, little baby while you’re out shopping for decorations and presents.
The people you associate yourself with help to form who you will become as an adult, whether it be friends, family, significant others, or just peers. Having relationships with people who have the same faith and same beliefs as you is important.
As teenagers, it is easy to fall into the habits of those around us, so surrounding ourselves with people of similar faith can help us to stay on the path intended for us. I have seen myself go down the wrong path because of the people I decided to befriend, and I have seen myself completely turn my life around by choosing better friends. As I’ve grown in my faith in the past year, I’ve done my best to associate myself with people that I believe will help me to stay on the right path. I can honestly say that in the past year I have seen myself grow into a young women of faith because of the people I met when I began going to a Catholic school. These people have helped to shape who I am today, and I am so glad I chose to surround myself with such amazing friends.
When I first moved here, I was the new girl. A few of these people accepted me right away. One in particular helped me to find my faith once again, and if it weren’t for that friend I probably wouldn’t be who I am today. The boy in the far right picture on the top row was a huge part of getting me out of my faith crisis. He helped me to find what it truly means to be a Catholic, and he is just an all around good friend. All of these people have helped me in some way or another, but he is the one who truly opened my eyes to my faith.
These friends of mine are proof that the people you surround yourself with help to form who you become, and, although I haven’t finished growing up, I can honestly say that how they have shaped my life in the past year is amazing.